State Capitol Briefs – Friday, April 11, 2014

massachusetts state house

STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS – FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2014
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

NEXT STEPS FOR BIZ CLIMATE DISCUSSED
What do the young wizards Boston educates need to stay here and build the economy of the future? Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and the lion’s share of the 2014 Massachusetts candidates weighed in Friday morning: more middle class housing. Better, quicker transportation during the workday. And, yes, an extended nightlife afterward. Akhil Nigam, president of the innovative-startup incubator Mass. Challenge, said he’s optimistic: “There is no industry that is not being affected by technology” and therefore “Boston is one of the primary cities to capitalize on that growth,” he said. His comments came at the annual Business Climate Summit co-sponsored by the News Service, the Boston Business Journal and Metro. How to capitalize on the tech revolution? If the young coders and designers and engineers are to stay here, they will need help to find housing that’s “not for the poor and not for the rich,” as Nigam put it. Walsh said the city is pushing development of 30 stories of middle-class units in Downtown Crossing as an example of how the region’s capital city will seek to respond to the requirements for future prosperity. He also said what’s good for the region is good for Boston, never mind Massachusetts, and Nigam said in that vein, getting on the Green, then the Red Line, is not working for the up-and-coming developers of the new economy, and the area needs a high-speed shuttle between the innovation centers of Kendall Square and the Innovation District in South Boston. Seven candidates for governor spoke to the business-friendly crowd. As they discussed how the state can improve its economic climate, they did find a common thread: the state is getting better at attacking multiple layers of licensing, permitting and regulation. And they agreed attacking health care costs, for both businesses and residents, has to stay at the top of the agenda. The annual summit took place at the Omni Parker House ballroom. – C. Sandler/SHNS

HOUSE BUDGET AMENDMENTS POUR IN
With a 5 p.m. deadline to file budget amendments for a debate that will begin April 28, House members on Friday were filing hundreds of proposals with the House clerk’s office, where employees were quickly putting them online. The amendments run the gamut from requiring a study of cost associated with failure of the Connector Authority’s insurance website to proposals dealing with extended learning time, elevator inspections and curbing the distribution of opiates by gangs. After 5 p.m. the number of amendments online was at 560 and rising. The amendments are available at: https://malegislature.gov/Budget/FY2015/House/ChamberActions?pg=1&perPage=100. – M. Norton/SHNS

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